To the parents out there, I was wondering what times, if any, you make your children go to bed? I was wondering if it changed any since I was a wee little shaver in the early 70s.
Pretty much till 6th grade I went to bed by 9pm. I can’t recall if it was official or if I just never could stay up that late, but in Chicago we have prime time from 7pm 0 10pm and it wasn’t till I was 12 years old and in 7th grade I can recall being able to watch the 10pm (after Prime Time) news.
I remember after turning 12, my mother didn’t care what time I went to bed as long as I got up for school in the morning. I had one of those mums who bought me a clock/radio (which was really cool for that era) and impressed it was important for me to learn to set it and get up on my own.
So what times do you modern parents impose on your children? And is it different from your parents?
My kids (nearly 6 & 3) start brushing their teeth and doing bedtime stories at 8. If we’re lucky, all is quiet by 8:30. When I was a kid, my bedtime was 8:30 until I got to middle school or so, which always pissed me off because I could only watch the first half of Little House on the Prairie! In middle and high school, I didn’t really have a bedtime, but I was expected to be in my room and quiet by 10:00 (which is when my parents went to bed). I would often read or watch tv until all hours of the night, but they didn’t care as long as they couldn’t hear me knocking around.
Number One Simmerson is almost 9. In the summer his bedtime is around 10:00, but that can be flexible if we’re watching a movie, or whatever. During the school year it’s 9:00. Number Two Simmerson is almost 3 and he does better the next day if he’s in bed by 8:30. (Note: we no longer make him nap during the day. There is too much protest, but sometimes he crashes on his own). He is experiencing some issues at the moment where he needs someone camped outside his door until he falls asleep. We are gradually weaning him off of this by telling him we need to go get something or do something, but we’ll be back to check in on him, etc.
My daughter is 2 and her bedtime is usually 7:30-8pm, depending on whether she has an afternoon nap (most times not - see Simmerdown’s response on this - it’s just not worth the fight). Today, she woke up early and only slept for 40 minutes in the afternoon, so by 7:45pm, she was out like a light!
My 10 year old goes to bed at 9:30 during the school year and 10 in the summer. He has a tv in his room and he’s allowed to watch it after those times. Sometimes he’ll ask me a little before bedtime if I want him to go to bed and I say yes, if he wants to. I am so lax because my mom made us go to bed so early there were kids outside our window asking us to come out and play and we’d lay awake for 3 -4 hours. Obviously she was a moron when it came to bedtimes.
My 7 and 3 year olds have lights out at 10:00. I suspect this is later than when I went to bed as a kid, but I don’t actually remember what my bedtime was. Mostly, bedtime is this late because #1 kid and I are both night owls, and I just can’t get organized enough to deal with bedtime before then. #2 is still an enthusiastic napper - she sleeps a good 2 hours each afternoon. They both wake up around 8:00 in the morning.
Our son is 3. Until last month, our bedtime routine (reading, cudde time and sleep) began at 7:30. We moved it gradually to 7:45, then to 8 because he was taking sometimes more than an hour to fall asleep. Now he’s out around 8:30 or 8:40.
When I was younger, I remember watching Falcon Crest (on just after Dynasty) with my mom and my sister. I think those two shows were over by 10 p.m. I was about 9 or 10.
My kids, like all young children in the Netherlands*, go to bed at 8:00. Seriusly, there is some kind of social agreement that children go to bed at 8.
Actually, my 9 year old could easily stay up later and usually does, he reads in bed or plays quietly. However, he has not yet complained or balked at going to bed at 8, so I have no plans to interfere with a good thing. He wakes up without an alarm at 7 or so. I will note that I finally had to stop him napping so he could attend school when he was younger; most of the time he did not sleep at naptime but happily turned in every day until I told him it wasn’t necessary any more. I am sometimes curious if he will keep going to bed at 8 when he is a teenager if I don’t bring it up. But really I think he just likes to have regular, reliable downtime.
The 7 year old still needs to go to bed at 8 if he is to get out of bed by 7:30 without the use of heavy equipment…
I had to go to bed, meaning lights off and making no noise, by 10pm. Since I’m nocturnal, this meant that I spent anywhere from 5-6 hours every night for 14 years sitting in a black room with nothing to do but drive myself crazy.
If you’re going to set a bedtime, let your child keep his light on until he’s ready to sleep.
My son starts 7th grade this fall (and turns 12 2 weeks later). We are experimenting right now with letting him stay up until 10. Through the end of last school year his bedtime was 9, though he could read in bed until 9:30 if he wasn’t sleepy at 9:00.
Our deal is that during the summer he can stay up until 10:00 and if he can demonstrate now that he can still get up at or before 6:30, with no struggles or complaining, his school year bedtime will be 10:00. If he’s groggy or whiny more mornings than I find reasonable we’re going to give 9:30 a try.
Our kids (7 & 5) start the bedtime routine around 7:25, in bed by 8 most nights, year 'round. The older one can read until 8:15 or 8:20. If we’re doing something out of the ordinary, they can stay up until 9 or 10 (or midnight, at NYE), but they’re draggy the next day. If my younger one is still up by 8:30 she’s asking if she can go to bed.
I’m sort of not looking forward to their bedtimes getting later. When they’re in their rooms with the doors closed, The Day Is Over. My wife and look forward to TDIO time to talk, pay bills, read quietly, play MarioKart, make sweet monkey love in the middle of the living room, whatever. But it’s our time.
In Japan kids go to bed at incredibly late times. We used to get letters from Kindergarten to ask that we got the kids in bed by 10pm!
Because I’m English, selfish, and raising the kids on my own (hub lives/works away most of the time) I had to have them in bed by 7:30pm just so I could retain any shreds of sanity. However on days that Daddy was home they stayed up to be with him and I paid the consequences the next day.
Now that they are nine and 13, we try to have a bed time of nine for the nine year old but it often extends to ten-ish which is far too late for him, and as the 13 year old is now in rehearsals for a musical, he is getting home at about 11pm most nights, sweaty, dirty and high on the noise and movement, so he’s often not asleep till nearly midnight, which as he still has school till the end of this week, is ridiculous.
Kids need way more sleep than parents realize. Teachers are the ones who can tell you off the bat which kids get enough sleep and which ones are allowed to stay up til 10pm and then watch TV in their rooms until they pass out from exhaustion.
There’s significant research being done about the relationship between sleep and school success as well as sleep and TV watching. The bottom line seems to be better sleep habits (going to bed at a reasonable hour considering what time the child needs to be up in the morning, getting between 10-12 hours of sleep a night, not having a TV in the room, etc) equals happier, more successful child.
My kids went to bed at 7:30 until 1st grade (meaning lights out, reading over.) It was 8:00 for a long time after that. Once they got to middle school, they set their own schedule but it was always reasonable and they were both successful students.
My kids (ages 4 and 2) go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 most nights. Sometimes they’ll stay up a bit later, but I’ve discovered that they have better mornings if they get to bed early, and since we leave the house at 7 a.m., they have to be in bed early to get the recommended 10-12 hours of sleep.